Students consider health of school’s hot lunches

District’s food service director notes benefits of campus menu


Ashley Yung

GBHS provides various sorts of “hot lunches”, including pizza from Papa Murphy’s, cheeseburgers, chicken sandwiches, chicken tenders and tacos.

   In previous years the school lunch crisis was on the minds of many Americans, but as the news cycle devoured the topic in its insatiable need for fresh content, the attention to the subject faded.

   But with the cameras off and eyes on other issues, it feels like students are becoming complicit with what they eat.

  There are half a dozen options for students at GBHS, and they vary in terms of their health qualities.

   In terms of calories, the GBHS menu is relatively healthy with only a few small outliers, but there is a difference between calories and content.

   The Roseville Joint Union High School District website for nutrition services states that half of a student’s plate should be fruits or vegetables, but if students buy something like the the PB&J sandwich, they get the sandwich with a cookie, chips and an apple.

   The fruit portion of the meal makes up only one fourth of the food and is the smallest item of the quartet.

Our menu items meet or exceed all state and federal guidelines for student nutrition,

— Jay Brown

   “They don’t really offer that many healthy foods,” freshman Robert Cantimir said. “I guess they are legally obliged to give you a handful of lettuce.”

   According to Jay Brown, the district’s director of food services, all meals served at GBHS are nutritious.

   “Our menu items meet or exceed all state and federal guidelines for student nutrition,” Brown said.

   Another question when it comes to GBHS meal options, beyond nutrition, is how satisfying the food choices are. Most GBHS students are reasonably satisfied with their choices.

   “Out of 10, the food here is a 6.5,” Cantimir said.

   Brown said the district’s food services staff provides what it believes  will satisfy the majority of people.

   “We use a combination of student and staff input, state and federal recommendations, as well as utilizing a trading area profile analysis,” Brown said.

   This approach has left the student body generally satisfied

The stereotype of school food is that it doesn’t really taste good and is poor quality, but it’s actually decent.

— Eddie Sheehy

   “The food here is actually really decent,” freshman Eddie Sheehy said. “The stereotype of school food is that it doesn’t really taste good and is poor quality, but it’s actually decent.”

  The stereotype about school lunches is that they’re both less than tasty and unhealthy. But contrary to public opinion, there seems to be no great conspiracy surrounding the cafeteria.

   Brown said leftovers are never reused and all waste is recycled in a clean and safe manner

   Students at GBHS will not be eating week-old chicken sandwiches or moldy pizza as the safety of the meals is very important to the district.

   “We receive deliveries frequently throughout the week to ensure freshness,” Brown said.

   Because there are no immediate problems with the menu at GBHS, students who don’t like the school lunch menu will need to take matters into their own hands.

   Although food delivery apps like DoorDash have been considered by some students, administrators said they will not be allowed to deliver food to students.

   “DoorDash, workers have not been cleared so they can’t be on campus, and we don’t have the personnel to hold onto and/or deliver the food ourselves,” principal Jennifer Leighton said. “Secondly, we can’t control the quality of food that is delivered and don’t know if it’s been at the proper temperature to avoid food-borne pathogens.”

   If students want to change the food options at GBHS, there is a possibility of there being collaboration.